Sunday, September 23, 2012

A.L. FAAB Log: September 24, 2012

Nearly every winning bid above $2 this time of year is a case of "I could have bid $2 and saved my FAAB." But since you can't spend it on beer, you might as well use your cash to push for your preferred guys. ESPN has Johnson listed as a two-start pitcher this week at home against the Blue Jays and the Red Sox. I've seen Johnson not listed at all elsewhere, so I checked with Tristran Cockroft of ESPN directly. He told me that the ESPN forecaster listing is up-to-date but that the "Orioles rotation is subject to constant change." I think if you need wins and/or strikeouts that Johnson is a must add even as a mere spec play. He has mostly been used in the Majors as a reliever this year, but even the results from his two starts have been solid. If the Orioles rotation changes again, then you still might get a pitcher here that goes 3-4 innings in relief once or twice next week with 3-8 whiffs and good rate stats. That's not bad, and is likely better than what you'll get from most of the starters on the wire.

I'm slightly surprised that Garcia has sat out there for this long, but he hasn't quite been a full timer and contenders need at bats right now more than they need anything else. Garcia has some long-term promise as a potential starting corner outfielder, but he done little so far with his cup of coffee and probably isn't going to be a $10 keeper next season.

Mike Scioscia announced that Ernesto Frieri will be part of a committee in the Angels bullpen the rest of the way after Thursday's loss to the Rangers. Since then, Frieri has a save and ended today's win against the White Sox. Downs - who is supposedly part of the committee - got the second out in the ninth before being removed for Frieri. This purchase certainly isn't a terrible play, but Frieri still looks like the guy to me despite his poor, poor Post All-Star performance.

Laird had been getting a good chunk of starts behind the plate for Detroit due to Alex Avila's concussion. Avila was cleared to play over the weekend, but concussions are never mild so the Tigers might split time between the two of them down the stretch. The problem is that Laird isn't very good and doesn't provide more than nominal value unless he's playing almost every day. 

Jamey Carroll stole his ninth base today? There's his value in deep leagues. He hasn't done anything else this year, but if you're in a tight steals race and think that he might run over the last 10 days, he's OK to add. If you still need power, RBI, runs or anything else from that spot, you might want to think better of this scintillating maneuver.

Ross stopped vulturing (I don't care what you say spellchecker, IT'S A WORD!) wins a while ago but continues to provide solid ERA/WHIP out of the Rangers pen. He's a safe add if you're looking to protect your rate stats, with the caveat that any pitcher can get all blowed up, particularly at this time of year after teams clinch and managers start treating games like Spring Training tune-ups.

Jake McGee. Claimed by 12th, 11th, 9th, 6th and 1st place teams.
I wrote about McGee in Friday's Gearing Up. Not surprisingly, he was a popular waiver claim among the non-contenders. He'll provide solid value even as a non-closer next season.

Zach Britton. Claimed by 11th place team
Britton could get a start this week, but as of right now he's not listed as a probable this week. That's a shame, because the team that picked Britton up is battling to make the league's inning requirement and this could have an impact on the league's final standings because this league plays with the stupid, asinine Byzantine rule that knocks a team that doesn't make innings down to one point in ERA/WHIP and bumps every team behind him up a point. It almost definitely won't change my place in the standings, but could impact one or two teams if this team doesn't make innings.

Joel Peralta. Claimed by 9th place team
Peralta isn't quite having the impact year that McGee is having, but has been pretty strong by his own right. Peralta's a free agent this winter, and I suspect he won't be back in Tampa Bay but won't be closing somewhere else in 2013 either.

Jeff Niemann. Claimed by 8th place team
Niemann could return this year but this is a claim by a team playing for 2013. If the Rays get knocked out on the earlier side, I don't think they'll risk it.

Daniel Bard. Claimed by 6th place team
Bard's a project right now. He's an OK spec claim for a non-contender, but it's fairly likely that he gets thrown back and bought at an end game price. There are no guarantees he starts 2013 with the big club either.

Cliff Pennington. Claimed by 4th place team.
Pennington has been awful this year, but has quietly been only slightly subpar/adequate since August. His stolen bases make him worthwhile but unlike Carroll he can pop the odd home run. He's a batting average risk, but the team that picked him up isn't trying to move up in batting average and isn't at risk of moving down. This is OK to do in A.L.-only.

I'll have one more of these next week. Try to contain your excitement until then.

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